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Old 10-18-2009, 02:34 PM   #1
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Is a 5 minute shower normal for 6 gal tank


I am need some help to determine if my hot water tank is operating normally.

We have an 07 Rockwood 8314SS with a 6 gal hot water heater. The first two times we used it, neither my wife or I ran out of hot water while taking a shower. Maybe we were just real quick on those occasions and didn't pay attention.

However, the last time we took out, the hot water seemed to run out in a matter of a couple of minutes. Today, I test it twice. Once the the water was hot, I ran the shower at the normal shower temperature and both time, hot water ran out after 5 minutes. So is 5 mintues normal for a 6 gallon hot water tank?

I appreciate it.


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Old 10-18-2009, 02:50 PM   #2
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sounds about right, some longer but around 5min or so seems to be the norm. 6 gallons isn't a whole lot of water. most RV shower heads are 1.5-2.5 gallons per minute. one thing you can do for quicker heat recovery is to run both electric and propane at the same time.

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Old 10-18-2009, 04:06 PM   #3
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Keep in mind that you can't take showers like you do at home. 6gal wont last long at all if you leave it running. As Aintgotnun points out a pump pushing 2.5gpm is going to run through 6gal of water in just about 3 minutes if you let it run. We too turn on both the gas and electric when we need fast recovery.
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:14 PM   #4
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I appreciate the advice. I know 6 gal won't last long. I just wanted to make sure it was the norm.

Do all hot water heaters run gas and electic? I have one switch for the water heater on the cabinet under the sink next to the tank heater switch. That activates the gas heater. I didn't see a switch to run electric as well, so I am thinking mine is gas only. the for the water heater I thought mine was gas only.
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:55 PM   #5
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The hot water heater themostats in the older RVs used to be set around 180 degrees or so, but I understand that the newer RVs have a lower setting..........the manufacturers have to protect their butts in case someone doesn't cut some cold water on with the hot. So if you are mixing 50/50 in the older RVs, I would think with a 6 gal. tank, then that is going to be right around the 6 minute mark @ 2 gpm. Expect a lot less time if you have a newer RV with the reduced temperature thermostat, where you don't mix as much cold water in to make things comfortable.

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Old 10-18-2009, 05:57 PM   #6
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.....And, of course, you both ARE turning off the water at the shower head when you are lathering up and just running the hot water when rinsing, aren't you ??

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Old 10-18-2009, 05:59 PM   #7
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On the outside of your camper, there is a metal cover that provides outside access and ventilation to your water heater. Inside, when you open the cover, you'll find a switch with a cotter pin through it to keep it in the off position. If you switch that on, and you are plugged in to shore power, your water heater will operate on AC power. Make sure of 2 things first, however. Be certain there is water in the tank to heat by turning on the hot faucet at the sink; and also check your WFCO converter box and distribution center, and you should find a breaker there to switch on and off that says water heater beside it. That must be on, and the switch outside must be on for AC operation. Asa stated previously, you can run both by using it the way you were on gas, as well. Randy
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:39 PM   #8
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One thing I would check is the water temp of "HOT" water only, right after the burner turned off. Get a good digital thermometer that will read aver 200 degrees safely, let the water heater cycle, and when the burner turned off, I would run water over the thermometer. Check that reading and see what you have. I would hope over 140, or more. If 120 or less, I would be looking at a thermostat. The cooler the water, the shorter time it will last. You also won't be mixing 50/50 more like 70% hot, 30% cold. This would make the hot water run out sooner.
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:54 AM   #9
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One fairly easy way to see if you have a dual heat water heater
is to look see if you have a circuit breaker labeled water heater.

And you must take "navy" showers where you wet down quickly and
then shut off the water to lather up. Then rinse quickly and
repeat if necessary.

This is why we call it "camping and not resorting or hoteling"!!!!!
It's part of the fun if you ask me.
If camping was same oh, same oh you might as well
stay home or rent a room.

Happy Camping!!
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Old 10-19-2009, 05:59 PM   #10
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For enlightenment and pictures of gas/electric water heaters and all the mysteries thereof:

Electric to gas water heaters?

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